Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory

Multi-Axes Rotation and Tilt Device (MART)

A subject being swung in multiple directions in the Graybiel Lab Spinning Space Chair.

The Multi-Axes Rotation and Tilt Device was fabricated by Neuro Kinetics, Inc. to specifications provided by the Graybiel Laboratory for a series of spatial orientation experiments.

This device is unique in that it can statically and dynamically orient a subject with great precision. The subject chair is mounted to a 2-axis gimbal in a pitch-roll or pitch-yaw configuration, allowing us to tilt the subject about any virtual axis.

The two axes are driven by high-torque direct-drive motors with modern servo controllers capable of holding a subject in a static position in force backgrounds up to 3g, rotating the subject to varying angles, and accelerating the subject at up to 800deg/s2.

The subject’s seat is equipped with a five-point restraint harness, adjustable padded straps for the head, torso and legs, and comfortable foam spacers to be positioned around the subject's body.

Electrical and optical slip rings provide for conveying signals between experimental components stationary and on the chair, such as a joystick vertical indicator, a data acquisition computer, and a video camera for subject monitoring.

The MART is a useful device for evaluating the perception of the gravitational vertical at extreme body orientations and of subject orientation in altered force environments such as weightlessness and macro-gravity in parabolic flight or in our rotating room.

Related Video

Tom Scott from Built for Science talks about his experience using the Multi-Axis Rotation and Tilt Device (MART).

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